Georges Tarabichi

2012 Judge

Judge Profile: 

Georges Tarabichi is a Syrian thinker, writer, critic and translator. He was born in Aleppo, Syria, in 1939. After graduating from Damascus University, he became a journalist and head of Syrian broadcasting (1963-4) and chief editor of the Journal for Arabic Studies (1972-84) and Unity Magazine (1984-89). He lived in Lebanon for a time, but left during the civil war and settled in France where he now works as a full-time writer. Tarabichi has translated over 200 books, including works by Freud, Hegel, Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. He is the author of 10 works of literary criticism on the Arabic novel, unprecedented in their use of psychoanalysis as a critical tool. His magnum opus is the fruit of 20 years' work: A Criticism of 'A Criticism of Arabic Thought' (Saqi, Beirut, 2010), a response to the novel of the same name by the Moroccan thinker Mohammed 'Abid al-Jabiri. This encyclopaedic work, written over a quarter of a century, reviews the Greek and European philosophical heritage and the philosophical, linguistic, religious/legal and Sufi aspects of the Islamic heritage, striving to answer the basic question: is the malaise in Islamic thought a result of outside factors or is it an internal tragedy for which the Arab-Islamic intellect must bear the responsibility?